In recent years, the curiosity and usage of CBD, particularly in the form of gummies, have surged, paralleling the growing legalization and acceptance of cannabis products. This rise in popularity has led to questions about how CBD interacts with other substances, most notably alcohol. Understanding this interaction is crucial, considering the widespread consumption of both CBD products and alcoholic beverages.
Interaction Between CBD and Alcohol
Research on the interaction between CBD oil and alcohol is still in its nascent stages. Studies that do exist are based on small human sample sizes or animal models. The effects of mixing CBD and alcohol appear to be paradoxical, lying somewhere between beneficial and harmful.
Both CBD and alcohol act as nervous system depressants. When combined, they may amplify alcohol-induced fatigue and drowsiness, potentially leading to severe impairment of motor function and altered time perception, as suggested by a 1979 clinical trial.
Potential Benefits of Mixing CBD with Alcohol
01. CBD’s Role in Alleviating Alcohol-Related Nausea
CBD’s potential in alleviating alcohol-induced nausea is particularly interesting. The antiemetic effects of CBD were observed in a study conducted in 2001, where rodents given CBD showed reduced symptoms of nausea. This suggests that CBD might counteract one of the most common and unpleasant side effects of alcohol consumption. By potentially interacting with receptors in the brain that regulate nausea and vomiting, CBD could offer a means to alleviate these symptoms without negating the body’s natural response to excess alcohol consumption.
02. Lower Blood Alcohol Levels
The impact of CBD on blood alcohol levels was highlighted in a 1979 study, suggesting that CBD might be capable of reducing these levels. This finding is significant because blood alcohol concentration is a key factor in determining the degree of alcohol’s effects on the body. Lower blood alcohol levels could mean reduced intoxication and, subsequently, a lower risk of alcohol-related impairments. However, it is crucial to note that this research is outdated, and further, more contemporary studies are required to confirm these initial findings and understand the underlying mechanisms.
03. Protective Effects Against Alcohol Damage
CBD’s potential neuroprotective and hepatoprotective properties have been a focus of several animal studies. A notable 2013 study on rodents revealed that CBD significantly reduced brain cell loss caused by alcohol consumption. This suggests that CBD might have a protective effect against the neurodegenerative and liver-damaging effects of alcohol. The ability of CBD to possibly shield the brain and liver from the harmful impacts of excessive alcohol consumption offers a promising avenue for further research, particularly in the context of long-term alcohol use.
04. Reducing the Urge to Drink
A 2019 review examining both preclinical data and human studies proposed that CBD might play a role in moderating the desire to engage in binge drinking. This observation is particularly important in the context of alcohol use disorders, where the urge to consume alcohol excessively can be overwhelming. While this review provides an intriguing perspective on the potential of CBD in managing alcohol consumption habits, it underscores the need for more definitive research to establish a clear understanding of how CBD influences alcohol cravings and consumption patterns.
The Risks and Uncertainties of Combining CBD with Alcohol
01. The Elusive Safety Profile
The safety of mixing CBD with alcohol remains a contentious topic in the medical community. While CBD has demonstrated potential in mitigating some of the harmful effects of alcohol, such as liver and brain damage, the overall safety profile is still unclear. This ambiguity stems from the limited and contradictory nature of existing research. CBD’s impact on alcohol’s intoxicating effects, its interaction with the body’s physiological processes when alcohol is present, and the long-term implications of such a combination are areas that require further exploration to establish a clear understanding.
CBD can attenuate alcohol consumption and potentially protect against certain harmful effects of alcohol, such as liver and brain damage.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31120285/
02. Limited Human Studies
Human studies examining the interaction between CBD and alcohol are scarce and offer mixed results. A notable study involving ten participants found that CBD, when taken with alcohol, resulted in significantly lower blood alcohol levels. However, this did not translate into a significant difference in the pharmacological effects, such as impairment of motor and mental performance, compared to alcohol consumption alone. This study suggests that while CBD may influence certain physiological aspects of alcohol intake, its overall impact on cognitive and motor functions in the context of alcohol use remains largely inactive. The study’s small sample size and its specific conditions also raise questions about the generalizability of its findings, underscoring the need for more extensive research in diverse human populations.
As of now, the definitive effects of combining CBD gummies with alcohol remain unclear, and existing research is limited and contradictory. While there are some potential benefits, such as reduced nausea and lower blood alcohol levels, the risks associated with increased intoxication and the uncertain impact on motor and mental performance warrant caution. More comprehensive human studies are needed to fully understand the interaction between these two substances.